Well... they say with age comes wisdom. At least enough wisdom to have sense enough to take it easy at holiday times.
My ethnic food leanings have broadened quite a bit over the past 37 years. We live in the north end, in one of Winnipeg's most multicultural communities. Our neighbors and fellow parishioners have introduced Paul and me to quite an assortment of ethnic specialities. The food has been interesting and delicious.
But, even more important, our friends have introduced us to the real joy of just being together. Companionship truly matters more than eating fancy cookies or trying to follow customs from a simpler time.
When we had dogs, Paul and I had certain rules we had to follow. Sunday mornings had a definite routine to them. After Mass we came home, changed into regular (in winter - warmer) clothes and did our doggie duty. Our dogs knew to expect a walk from us and we knew better than to try to ignore their needs.
Now that we're dog-free, we've gotten into the habit of joining friends at our local McDonald's after Mass. There isn't anything particularly seasonal or festive about the food at Micky D's, but that just doesn't matter anymore. What does matter is getting together with our friends.
I still bake a few favorites for the holidays. But, along with the biscotti, strufoli, spitzbuben and zimtsterne, I also include a few oreos on my cookie platter.
I never get any complaints... or leftovers.